Something as simple as a wholesome breakfast shared with friends helps students feel a sense of belonging and encourages them to arrive, stay, engage and excel in the classroom.

Foodbank WA's School Breakfast Program

It is often a shock for people to learn that Foodbank WA runs a program of the size and scale of the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and that so many children in WA are going to school hungry. Growing from 17 schools in 2001 to 470 schools in 2018, the program supports over 20,200 students, serving over 60,000breakfasts and 25,000 emergency meals per week.

What is the purpose of the Program?

The common catalyst for schools enrolling in the School Breakfast Program remains the same today as it was 18 years ago: identifying a core group of students arriving at school having had little or no breakfast. While the reasons for this vary greatly, low income, poverty, remoteness and lack of access to nutritious food make children and families vulnerable to food insecurity.  The School Breakfast Program ensures that all students have an equal opportunity to receive a wholesome, nutritious breakfast every day. Product may also be used to provide 'emergency meals', such as recess and lunch, during the school day.

How does it work?

Upon registering with Foodbank WA, member schools can access quality School Breakfast Program food products, including canned fruit in natural juice, wheat biscuits, oats, Vegemite, canned spaghetti, canned baked beans and UHT milk. Schools located in proximity to a Foodbank branch are able to access fresh produce (subject to availability), including bread, fresh fruit and vegetables and yoghurt.

Program Outcomes

While soothing a rumbling tummy is the most immediate benefit of the Program, the impact on students, teachers and the community is far more profound than could initially be imagined. The School Breakfast Program is improving the food security and nutrition of children living in disadvantage and providing them an equal opportunity to excel academically, emotionally and socially. The Program would not be possible without the generous support of Foodbank WA's government, corporate and philanthropic sponsors. These organisations provide funding so that Foodbank is able to purchase the breakfast food items and pay for the freight to deliver the breakfast product to outlying regional schools.

Impact on Students' Capacity for Learning

The 2016 School Breakfast Program Evaluation was conducted and reported on by Edith Cowan University and Telethon Kids Institute (Byrne, Hill, Wenden, Devine, Miller & Cross, 2017). One area investigated was the positive impact on students' capacity for learning, with schools reporting  across three domains: schooling; personal and social capacity; and social and environmental factors. The following proportions of schools indicated that 'All' or 'Most' of their SBP students were positively impacted by the program in terms of:


  • Punctuality to school, start of day (71%)
  • Punctuality to classes, during school day (66%)

  • Attendance (64%)

  • Behaviour (68%)

  • Readiness for learning (88%)

  • On task concentration (81%)

  • Social skills (73%)

  • Calmness (72%)

  • Productivity in classwork (78%)

Personal and Social Capability

  • Self-awareness (48%)

  • Self-management (52%)

  • Social awareness (51%)

  • Social management (67%)

  • Physical health (69%)

  • Increased physical activity (52%)

Social and Environmental Factors

  • Social relations with SBP school staff (83%)

  • Social relations with SBP volunteers/community (70%)

  • Social relations with other SBP students (83%)

  • Overall school tone (climate) (68%)

  • Health promoting environment of school (67%)

To view the 2016 School Breakfast Program Survey Report in full, please visit the Research & Evaluation tab.